The rather inspirational Kirsteene Phelan

When the weather is dreary, I believe that two of the best things that people can wear to work are FABULOUS accessories and an even more wonderful and heart-felt smile. This is why I’m excited today to introduce you properly to Kirsteene Phelan, who is currently PR & Marketing for Etsy Australia.

BusiChic Kirsteene

I love how Kirsteene has accessorised her LBD!

Glasses from | Dress from Seed |Jacket from Dejcuba | Tights – Target |Shoes from  hispanitas | Earrings from samah designs on etsy | laptop case from ambette on etsy | Gloves from gaye abandonon etsy | Scarf – Vintage from Camberwell Market

BusiChic Kirsteene earrings

Fabulous earrings from samah designs on etsy!

BusiChic Kirsteene  laptop bag

I love the pop of colour Kirsteene’s laptop case provides! It’s from ambette on etsy.

BusiChic Kirsteene Shoes

Kirsteene takes good care of her Hispanitas, by applying leather conditioner every few weeks and it’s paid off – this pair are a few years old but still look new. Incentive for me to be more diligent with the leather conditioner 😉

I first came across Kirsteene on Twitter and have been following her adventures going from crafter and creator of splendid things like her own cute jewellery label Scrumptious to body lotions. Then she went out and secured a job with the amazing Etsy Australia – it seemed like Kirsteene was jumping from dream move to dream move!

That’s why it was particularly awesome earlier this year to hear Kirsteene share her career story at a League of Extraordinary Women event earlier this year to talk about all of the hard work behind the scenes. The room was full of entrepreneurial women, each at different stages of growing her business but I don’t think anyone in the room wasn’t inspired by Kirsteene in some way. I particularly valued Kirsteene’s sharing of the mistakes that she made along the way that now help inform her every business decision.

“Scrumptious was a successful microbusiness and enjoyed every minute of it. When I moved from a consulting role at the Etsy to full time I knew it was untenable to nuture both businesses so I decided to try and sell Scrumptious. What I discovered was that I was not going to be able to able to sell Scrumptious. I’d not set it up in such a way that my processes could be easily transferred to others.  The money side of things was great but it relied heavily on my own manpower to make stock, process orders and basically keep the ship running. From the first year through the fourth year I’d spent so much time in the business rather then looking two or three steps down the road that when my plans changed suddenly I was caught without my ducks in a row. Also – the brand was so personal and so intrinsically me that that I was overprotective and reluctant to sell to anyone who would tarnish my name.

From this experience I could see that I had made a mistake. When I inevitably start another enterprise I’ll be conscious of this mistake and tailor my approach accordingly.”

neil gaiman quote

Love this positive take on mistakes!


The following is another excerpt from the speech that Kirsteene delivered at a League of Extraordinary Women event earlier this year that I also found valuable – hope that you do too.

No woman is an island.

Whether you are in start up mode, studying, in a intense period of career progression or starting a new job I think it is worth reminding ourselves.

You are not alone. You do not have to do everything. You are not an island. You are an awesome vibrant person with plenty of talents to share. Let people help you. Ask for help, ask for guidance, ask for advice.

As I mentioned earlier Scrumptious was on average a 60 hour work week and when I started at Etsy and because of the unique international set up of the company I was at one stage attending regular meetings at 3 or 4 in the morning.  This is unsustainable and unhealthy.

Some tips for getting help.  Be honest with your family. If you need help your family is a great first port of call. I can’t thank my husband enough for cooking countless meals and dealing with day to day running of our household when I’m in peak time. My steppies have also been awesome at completing small tasks – my 13 year old loves a spread sheet!

Call in the professionals. That means accountants, trainers, house cleaners, laundry services. These services can be expensive but it they free your time to be productive in your enterprise or take on that extra role that will provide the career boost you are after then I say go for it.

Build your community. Events like this a prime example of what I mean. Meet and build relationships with likeminded souls and benefit from the insights of others.

Find a mentor – whether it be formal or informal a mentor can provide that essential sounding board to help you refine your vision and path.


Thanks to beautiful Kirsteene for allowing me to photograph her plus share excerpts from her talk as well as League of Extraordinary Women who invited me as a guest.


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  1. Wonderful women with some great advice. Like Kirsteene, I haven’t thought about selling my business in the future. I’m going to give this some serious thought and see what I might need to start putting into place. Thanks for that.

  2. She’s just such a great burst of energy and enthusiasm – no wonder she’s such a great inspiration to so many entrepreneurial women! Looking forward to her contributions at Commune at Craft Cubed next weekend. Great shots Chezzle x

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